WIT Press

Analysis Of The Stability Of Slopes Reinforced By Roots


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189 - 200




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Paper DOI



WIT Press


F. Gentile, G. Elia & R. Elia


This paper deals with the assessment of vegetation contribution to slope stability, with particular emphasis on the mechanical effects provided by the root system. As is well known the presence of roots within the soil increases, with respect to the case of soil without vegetation, the material effective cohesion with no significant change in its friction angle. Such mechanical effect can be introduced in the Mohr-Coulomb failure law through an \“apparent cohesion” term, which adds to the soil effective cohesion. The contribution of root reinforcement to the soil shear strength has been investigated in slope stability finite element analyses, modifying the soil properties of individual slope elements including vegetation. This approach allowed quantification of the effect of the mechanical root reinforcement on the slope factor of safety and assessment of the sensitivity of slope stability to the variation of apparent cohesion and root zone depth assumed in the numerical simulations. Keywords: slope stability, root reinforcement, apparent cohesion, finite element method. 1 Introduction The presence of a root system in the soil plays an important role on the stability of natural slopes, which are usually covered with vegetation. It affects the stability of a slope, essentially through hydrological and mechanical effects. Regarding the latter aspect, the density of roots within the soil mass and their


slope stability, root reinforcement, apparent cohesion, finite element method